5 minute portraits…

So many times, people have said they wished they had all the time in the world when it comes to taking photos of people while shooting a portrait.  Family photographers sometimes feel that an hour or an hour and a half isn’t enough time.  Ironically though, in a lot of cases I wish I had 15 minutes, much less an hour.

(Nikon D3s, 320ISO, Nikon 85mmF1.4D, 1/60th@F1.6.  Single SB-900 Speedlight inside of a 16″ FotoRosa Softbox to camera right with a Half CTO on it.  Speedlight was set to iTTL-0.3 and was fired by an SU-800 Speedlight Commander on the camera)

That’s Thijs.  Cool Cat. Loves to argue though, and Boy have we argued.  Not like, intense upset at each other argue, but more along the lines of debate.  One of his favorite past times is picking a topic and debating it.  Don’t get me wrong I’m all for a good debate, but dang he loves it.  Took this for him and his Company Ultrasun USA (and Ultrasun International) last week.  He doesn’t come to the States very often, but when he does he has things to do.  After I got there he had about 5 minutes for us to shoot photos, which is what we did.  I’ve done work for their company for some time now, and we get along.  He is comfortable with me, and I with him and that comfort level is something I wish I had with a lot of people that I’ve shot photos of because interaction and comfort level is important to snapping a good frame.  

Believe it or not though, this is relatively normal when it comes to someone that is anybody.  Not that families aren’t anybody; hear me out.  I spend several days a month shooting in active retired communities, and holy cow these people are active.  In fact, in the last string of days I spent out at one of these places, I didn’t even get the peoples names.  The PR person wanted to handle all of it, and Hey… Who am I to argue with easier for me?

(Canon 5D Mark II, 500ISO, Canon 16-35mmF2.8L@19mm.  1/30th@F7.1.  Canon 580EX SPeedlight set to 1/16th inside of a 16″ FotoRosa Softbox to above camera left fired by Pocket wizard.  Single 580EX Speedlight set to 1/32nd power zoomed to 70mm sitting on the kitchen floor aimed at the ceiling for a little bit of illumination. Also fired by Pocket Wizard)

That’s Linda Wirth, a resident at Del Webb Active living community on the north side.  I probably could have taken longer with her than I did (after all I was in, set up, and out in 15 minutes…), but it was a straight forward assignment.  I needed to illustrate her in the house that she fell in love with .  This isn’t the photo that ran, but this was my favorite out of the group.  Lots of shoots that I’ve done shooting or Del Webb have only lasted 15 minutes or less.  It can be crazy stressful, yet gratifying when done correctly.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 125ISO, Canon 16-35mmF2.8L@26mm.  1/160th@F11.  Single Canon 580EX Speedlight on a Stand to camera right zoomed to 105mm at 1/2 power aimed right at his face fired by pocket wizard. )
That’s John Ditslear, the Mayor of Noblesville Indiana.  This isn’t the final photo for this shoot, but I liked this one best.  Part of my assignment was to shoot the Mayor in front of City Hall, which could have been a nightmare since the sun was coming up over the building that morning.  If I had my Nikon gear I’d not have thought twice about it with the TTL, but Manual Flash out of  my Canon Speedlights saved the day.  Just in case though, I also shot him in his office. In Total his would have been a 15 minute or less shoot except that the Mayor popped a button off of his jacket and his assistant had to fix it real quick.  It gave us a few minutes to chat, and tell a few jokes (no no, not the Laffy Taffy jokes…..ok well maybe).  He was very personable and we got along which as I said; is important.  Being comfortable with your subject makes for great photos.  In fact at the end of the shoot he confessed that there is no such thing as the key to the city, but he gave me the closest thing to it; which was a Noblesville medallion with his name on it.  More Soon.